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The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 254 for the week ending June 8, 4% lower than the week ending June 2. The number of new cases in the state increased by about 4%, but hospitalizations declined.

Cook County, including Chicago, is in the “high” community risk level. Lake, McHenry, DuPage and Will counties are also in the high community risk level. City officials say Evanston is in the medium community risk level.

Researchers estimate that the actual number of new cases is some six or seven times the number being reported because many people are not reporting positive home tests. Some scientists are now saying to pay attention to whether your friends and co-workers are getting COVID, and if so “you probably need to be testing and masking.”  

Vaccines for children under five

Next week a vaccine committee of the Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to consider Moderna’s vaccine for children six months to five years old and Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for children six months to four years old. If the committee recommends the vaccines, the FDA is expected to rule on whether to grant emergency use authorization on June 16 or 17.

The next step is for the Centers for Disease Control and Protection’s panel of independent experts to review the data on June 17 and 18 and make a recommendation. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will then decide whether or not to accept the recommendation.

Moderna recommends two doses given four weeks apart. Pfizer recommends three doses, with the second dose give three weeks after the first, and the third two months after the second.

The FDA and CDC committees will likely give their assessment of the effectiveness of the vaccines based on up-to-date data.

The Biden administration has been saying the vaccines will be ready by June 21.

Trends of new cases in Illinois and Evanston

Illinois:  On June 9, the number of new cases in the state was 4,294.

Evanston: Evanston reported 33 new COVID-19 cases of local residents on June 8.  (Evanston is reporting COVID-19 data with a one-day delay.)

There was a total of 254 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents in the week ending June 1, compared to 265 new cases in the week ending June 2, a decrease of about 4%. The chart below shows the trend.

No Evanston resident died due to COVID-19 during the week ending June 8. The total number of Evanston deaths due to COVID-19 remains at 149.

Cases at District 65, ETHS and Northwestern University: It appears the new cases at the schools continue to account for a significant number of the new cases in Evanston.

School District 65’s COVID-19 dashboard reports that for the seven days ending June 7, a total of 47 students and 14 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

ETHS has not reported COVID-19 cases since May 23.

The data does not reflect whether the students and staff contracted the virus while at school.

The latest data on NU’s website reports that between June 3 and June 9 there were 142 new COVID-19 cases of faculty, staff or students. If the cases are of an Evanston resident, they are included in Evanston’s data for the relevant period, Ike Ogbo, Director of Evanston’s Department of Health and Human Services told the RoundTable.

Cases per 100,000

The weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Illinois is 264 in the seven days ending June 2.  

As of June 8, the weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Evanston was 343. As of June 9, the number was 234 for Chicago, and 199 for suburban Cook County. An accompanying chart shows the trend.

Hospitalizations

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have more than doubled in the last seven weeks. They have increased from 517 on April 6 to 1,180 on June 8, but they declined slightly from one week ago.

The chart below, prepared by the City of Evanston, shows the trends in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 at the three hospitals closest to and serving Evanston residents.

 Cook County at high risk level

The CDC and IDPH look at the combination of three metrics to determine whether a community level of risk for COVID-19 is low, medium or high. They are: 1) the total number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days; 2) the new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 in the last seven days; and 3) the percent of staffed inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. [1]

The City of Evanston reported this evening, June 9, that Evanston is in the medium risk category. IDPH reported that Cook County, together with some collar counties, are in the high risk category.

While Evanston has more than 200 new cases per 100,000 people, the city reported this evening that it has a seven-day total of 6.4 new hospital admissions per 100,000 people, and that only 2.9% staffed inpatient hospital beds are occupied by COVID patients (using a seven-day average). These metrics put it in the medium risk category. (See footnote below.)

It is unclear what hospitals the city is considering in its analysis.

The CDC and IDPH recommend the following measures for people in areas that are rated at a high community level for COVID-19 transmission:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings)
  • If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease:
    • Wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection,
    • Consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed,
    • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to take other precautions,
    • Have a plan for rapid testing if needed (e.g., having home tests or access to testing), and
    • IF YOU TEST POSITIVE: Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals, and monoclonal antibodies
  • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease:
    • consider self-testing to detect infection before contact,
    • consider wearing a mask when indoors with them.
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
  • Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible.
  • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19

At all levels, people can wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by personal level of risk. People with symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

FOOTNOTES

1/ CDC recommends the use of three indicators to measure COVID-19 Community Levels: 1) new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days; 2) new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the last 7 days; and 3) the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by patients with confirmed COVID-19 (7-day average). 

The chart below illustrates how these indicators are combined to determine whether COVID-19 Community Levels are low, medium, or high. The CDC provides many recommendations depending on whether the COVID-19 Community Level is low, medium, or high. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/indicators-monitoring-community-levels.html

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...

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